Each year as “Black Friday” arrives millions of Americans, and millions of shoppers throughout the world begin to place their focus on buying gifts for the holidays. People rush out the mall, or scan the internet to start finding those must have items for the absolute cheapest price possible. However, after the last gift has been unwrapped and the champagne cork from New Years popped, the credit card bills start to roll in during the cold days of January. Well, rather than fretting the mail man, follow this credit card guide to avoid the holiday hangover when shopping for gifts.
Plan the Credit Card Spending Limit
Before even browsing the internet or hitting the mall for the best sales in town, write down the name of each person who will be receiving a gift. Then next to their name write a total amount of money that will be spent on that person. Total up the entire list and determine if that is an acceptable amount of money to spend this year on holiday gifts. If not, go back and revise further.
Another trick of the trade when planning a credit card spending limit is to allow for sales tax and shipping and handling charges. With sales tax approaching 10 percent in some states, it can add quite a few bucks to the bottom line. As a rule of thumb, add 15 percent to the total amount of the spending lists for taxes, shipping and overages.
Refuse to Bring the Rebate Credit Card, Gas Credit Card, or Any Credit Card
If the credit card is not with the shopper, the shopper can’t use the credit card to make purchases. That sounds like such a simple piece of advice however, many people find themselves succumbing to a lack of will power, reaching into their wallet and forking over the plastic. If even having the credit cards at home is too much temptation (because of internet shopping), then one can try the old freezer trick. Freeze the credit cards in a block of ice. If there’s a true emergency, one can still get to the credit card. However, if it is an impulse purchase, by the time the ice freezes, a more sensible head will have prevailed.
Use the Lowest APR Credit Card
If one absolutely has to charge some gifts, then stick to using just one credit card. This will allow the user to check the balance on a daily basis to keep track of what they have spent. But before just using any credit card, search through all of the credit card accounts and find the lowest APR credit card to use.